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COUNCIL for PARITY DEMOCRACY ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ 19 Mulready House Herrick Street Westminster London England SW1P 4JL Tel & Fax + 44 20 7834 1309 Mobile + 44 79 32 79 44 32 Email shequality @ gmail.com www.shequality.org photos at www.shequality.spaces.live.com Honorary Secretary Raymond Lloyd Newsletter 34 to Friends: Friday 28 November 2008 Today I am 74, and the anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss is 100. Sooner or later, I shall be dead. Possibly sooner. Hopefully later. Not that this thought has deterred me from preparing an action program to 2020. Or posting on my website Women’s Centenaries to 2030, if not yet to 2033, the 2000th anniversary of the Resurrection. Rather, I put the thought down because, over the past 28 years, during which time I have worked essentially on my own, it has become obvious that my work will die with me. Not my ideals, or objectives, but my particular activities. These have been among three fields: standing up to evil, promoting inclusive democracy, and working for women’s empowerment. And if I now outline them, it is to draw attention to three other persons, also working in original ways, who are promoting similar objectives. First, though, I might mention that accounts of my work and travel in 2008 may be found in the monthly issues of The Parity Democrat which, from March 2007 onward, have been sent to friends on a complimentary basis. Each issue gives anniversary and centenary dates for the month in advance, and reports for the month just ended. Thus No 133, printed at the beginning of December 2007, is dated for January 2008, giving anniversaries for that month, with a report of my work in November 2007, in London. The February 2008 issue describes work in December 2008, in Brussels and Rome, the March issue work in London, April in Venice and London, May in Madeira and Birmingham, June in Bucharest and Ljubljana, July in Ukraine, Zakopane, Budapest and Maribor, August in London and Brussels, September in Japan, October in London, November in China, while the issue for December 2008 describes work in October in Venice and Turin. I shall soon be working on the January 2009 issue No 145. Standing up to evil. When I began work in 1956 with the International Red Cross, and then went on to work with the High Commissioner for Refugees, and for the hungry with FAO, I thought it was for the highest possible ideals. But by the mid 1970s, I had begun to appreciate that FAO leaders were more interested in changing constitutions to perpetuate incumbency, and justifying this by exploiting third world grievances. Later I learned that such persons were prepared to lie, misappropriate funds, and eventually to allow the hungry to starve, to achieve their aims. Thus I came to my own definition of evil, that is, not only lying, cheating, wounding and killing, but lying, cheating, wounding and killing to obtain or perpetuate power over others. Much of my work to expose this, first from within the UN, and then on my own, is described on my website. I had no precedent to guide me, nor have I set an example followed by others. The person I have discovered who is doing at least as important work is Linda Melvern, who has exposed the responsibility of Britain, France and the US in abstaining from their UN Security Council responsibilities in halting the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, when some 800 000 persons were murdered. Linda’s two books are A People Betrayed: the Role of the West in Rwanda’s Genocide, and Conspiracy to Murder: the Rwandan Genocide, published in 2000 and 2004 respectively. Linda worked alone, supported only by her family, to get her first book published, and then could find no UK paper to review it. Now she has an entry in Wikipedia, and is recognized internationally as a person best placed to alert others to halting incipient genocide. Inclusive democracy. My first work in 1956 was to work with Hungarians fleeing soviet totalitarianism. In working for Algerian refugees in Morocco and Tunisia in 1959, I came to understand that the host populations were often as badly off as the refugees, so I proposed a World Development Decade. This was designated by the UN General Assembly throughout forty years, and in 2000 was translated into the Millennium Development Goals. From 1961 to 1980 I myself worked on Food for All. By 1980 some 100 of the world’s 150 independent states were imprisoning, torturing, or killing their civilian opponents, and when I resigned, it was to work for the democratic regeneration of the UN system. In July 1990 my proposal for a Decade of Democracy was taken up at the Group of Seven summit in Houston, and every year since then I have tabulated those major anniversaries which might be taken as target dates for consolidating and enhancing democracy. About one third of the 150-200 anniversaries highlighted every year are Occasions for Remembrance, Lustration, Reconciliation or Compensation. What started me off was the issue by Germany, on 9 November 1988, the 50th anniversary of Kristallnacht, of a postage stamp with the Jewish saying Redemption comes from Remembrance. The scholar whose research I have found most illuminating is R J Rummel, with books on Death by Government, and Democide, an account of the near 200 million civilians put to death by ethnic and ideological dictators in the 20th century. Again this scholar has a Wikipedia entry, and all his Never Again books can be downloaded free from his site. I used his work to account for the murder of 90 million Chinese civilians, in the November issue of The Parity Democrat. But the established democracies also perpetrate political crimes. On 7 February 2002 President Bush directed that alleged terrorists were not to be given the protections of the Geneva Conventions. In the following year Vice-President Cheney held a meeting on enhanced interrogation techniques, which we now know to include water-boarding (near-drowning) and other tortures. But it is only in 2008 that full accounts have been published of the physical abuse of prisoners, all Moslems, and many innocents. On 7 August I emailed presidential candidate-designate Barack Obama, with copies to Messrs Bush and Cheney, that they use the 150th anniversary of the battle of Solferino on 24 June 2009, which led Henri Dunant to found the Red Cross and the subsequent Geneva Conventions, to pledge that never again will the United States condone or perpetrate torture. Women’s Advancement. If some of my work draws attention to the persons who have suffered from the actions, or inaction, of the democracies, a greater part highlights the challenge of bringing to bear on public affairs the potential of half of humankind. But so big have become my databases that I have had to abandon some of them, including my bimonthly lists of women political leaders throughout the world. But not before I discovered another person, Martin K I Christensen, was compiling even more comprehensive lists, going back into history, and updated almost daily, many with photos, of all women in positions of political and religious authority, in his www.guide2womenleaders.com. Martin began this interest some three decades ago, as a boy, so his unique and priceless work may go on for many years yet. Health and Finances: Happily I continue to keep my blood coagulation and cholesterol under control, though a change in hypotensives seems to have been the cause of recent irritating rashes. On finance, I am having to pay some £3 300 out of my £6 000 savings for major works to my block of flats, and another £1 500 or so to replace my combi boiler. Thus I have not had the money, or time, to pay for a third year of undergraduate studies, though my work on architecture and accessibility has continued, in both Venice and London, and at the Beijing Paralympics. And I have been able to travel to meetings, only by using budget airlines, or excursion fares booked long in advance, thanks also to contributions, still made by four friends and couples. The form below may facilitate the continuation of such support. With all good wishes for 2009 Raymond Lloyd -------------------------------------------------------------- Enclosed is a gift of ........... made out to "Raymond Lloyd", in support of work for political integrity and parity democracy NAME....................................... Date............... ADDRESS.......................................................... 2
"No 34 of 28 November 2008"